Military veterans and officers instruct soldiers how to fight effectively in combat.
Military veterans and officers instruct soldiers how to fight effectively in combat. Lessons often include lectures or textbook assignments describing military history and exercises to enhance physical strength and agility and acquire skills with weapons. Military education emphasizes discipline and organization to achieve warfare goals. Nonmilitary schools incorporate warfare discussion in curricula for varying objectives. While some educators tell pupils facts, other teachers present versions to satisfy government requirements. In the early twenty-first century, some military historians shifted from institutional studies of how specific military academies, service branches, and governments educated troops to examining warfare’s role in diverse cultures, people’s perceptions of war, and educational depictions influencing them.
Education provides credentials for soldiers to advance professionally within the military. Academic accomplishments reinforce peers’ and subordinates’ respect for officers’ authority. Military histories educate commanders to make decisions such as when to go to war, continue fighting, or withdraw forces. Textbooks, intended for either military personnel or school-age students, deliver narratives designed to achieve specific goals. While military textbooks train soldiers, many school history textbooks emphasize positive aspects and ignore controversial topics. Some educational resources misrepresent military history intentionally with rhetoric and propaganda to promote nationalism. Ideas presented by textbooks shape how students view warfare and influence their attitudes toward their country’s military forces–motivating them, for example, to consider serving as adults.
Throughout history, boys participated in games and activities such as hunting as a form of early military training. Formal educational experiences prepared soldiers and officers for warfare. Handbooks and instructional guides provided information soldiers needed to perform their duties and respond to wartime demands. Some military schools incorporated military history and theory into lectures and assigned books, often written by instructors and veterans, for cadets to study. Troops bonded by sharing training, rituals, and sacrifices. Warfare impacted people according to the historic period and geographical region in which they lived and how essential military power was for their leaders to secure control. Civilians’ comprehension of history and awareness of military books and tacticians’ concepts often shaped cultural responses to warfare.
As social ideas regarding childhood changed, educational opportunities for children expanded in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Many schools used textbooks that featured notable military figures, battles, and wars. Lessons often emphasized military role models and successes from ancient times through contemporary events to encourage children to be patriotic citizens and feel pride for their country. Discussion of atrocities and defeats was often omitted or dismissed as irrelevant. Publishers, authors, and educators exhibited varying degrees of accountability regarding textbooks’ role in educating children about warfare.
A Tangut script of Sunzi’s Art of War (c. 510
Ancient military narratives influenced
Those texts influenced how Alexander responded to his early military actions and envisioned his responsibilities as a leader, planning logistics and organizing personnel at the
Other ancient military handbooks influenced contemporaries’ perception of war. Many ancient people were constantly confronted with warfare and its obligations and incentives, such as assuring citizenship through service. Britannia governor
Army and naval commanders during the Middle Ages were aware of books written by ancient military historians and tacticians. Vegetius’s De re militari was a frequently mentioned ancient text in medieval military histories and often was copied for military and political figures. Literate medieval people read De re militari because it provided access to Roman thought and concepts. Roman military information intrigued medieval readers curious about ancient warfare and its possible applications to their military needs. Contemporary sagas, such as the
Some copyists revised ancient handbooks to meet conditions in their location and time. Freculph, bishop of Lisieux (fl. ninth century), gave his edited copy of Vegetius’s handbook to Charles the Bald, stating that it could help military leaders form effective fighting techniques to resist Viking attacks in the mid-ninth century. By the thirteenth century, a French translation of Vegetius’s handbook was distributed. In the fifteenth century, craftspersons used the printing press to produce copies of De re militari. Various histories stated that notable medieval commanders took copies of Vegetius’s handbook into battle, but no evidence verifies that they applied this guide in combat.
About 856, King Lothair II commissioned
Contemporary reception of
The United States Military Academy, looking north along the Hudson River.
By the nineteenth century, warfare had begun a transition which Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) addressed in his book
Critics and supporters wrote articles and books examining, and often misinterpreting, Clausewitz’s works. Sir
Before World War I, some U.S. educators wanted high school boys to receive military instruction that would condition them physically and mentally for war and to provide their communities security. Teachers belonging to the
After World War II, the Japanese Ministry of Education told educators to ink out military sections in textbooks to appease U.S. occupation forces. The Supreme Command for the Allied Powers (SCAP) required new
Basic cadets salute during their first reveille formation at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
During the 1950’s, Japan’s education ministry rejected books it considered contrary to values they wanted Japanese children to acquire, including Ienaga’s books (unless he would agree to revise them). By the mid-1960’s, Ienaga initiated litigation against the ministry, stating its textbook selection was unlawful. He complained that the ministry had insisted he revise discussion of Japan’s military aggression against China, Korea, and the Philippines. In the 1990’s, Tokyo University education professor
Japan’s supreme court affirmed the ministry’s textbook selection as constitutional in 1997 but stated that all revision demands should be compatible with historical scholarship. Fujioka established the
interpretations. Most Japanese school districts refused to use it. Historians worldwide voiced concerns about textbooks presenting military history responsibly to students.
Bassford, Christopher. Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America, 1815-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Interprets responses to Clausewitz’s ideas and how changing public attitudes toward warfare influenced reactions to his writing. Hein, Laura, and Mark Selden, eds. Censoring History: Citizenship and Memory in Japan, Germany, and the United States. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 2000. Essays analyze textbook depictions of wars, events, and national histories, including provocative images often omitted. Lindaman, Dana, and Kyle Ward. History Lessons: How Textbooks From Around the World Portray U.S. History. New York: The New Press, 2004. Excerpts present varied perspectives and distortions about warfare from educational material used in diverse countries’ schools. McNeilly, Mark. Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Applies Sunzi’s tactical principles to discussion of significant historic battles and commanders, comparing those ideas with other military strategists’ concepts. Nicolle, David. Armies of Medieval Russia, 750-1250. Illustrated by Angus McBride. Men-at-Arms Series 333. New York: Osprey, 1999. Explores reasons soldiers fought, with cultural references to warfare. Illustrations feature contemporary images. Zeiger, Susan. “The Schoolhouse vs. the Armory: U.S. Teachers and the Campaign Against Militarism in the Schools, 1914-1918.” Journal of Women’s History 15, no. 2 (Summer, 2003): 150-179. Examines attempts to incorporate military education into mainstream curricula in context with issues associated with warfare.
Civilian Labor and Warfare
The Press and War
Revolt, Rebellion, and Insurgency
War’s Impact on Economies
Women, Children, and War